Content marketing is still the most exciting place to be as far as I?m concerned. It?s the fastest moving, most rewarding and most dynamic side of marketing. It?s also full of interesting ideas, leading innovators and is evolving all the time. We covered why quality content is king in a previous post, so now I want to highlight how it will increase its appeal during 2016.
With the new year now in full swing, where will content marketing take us in 2016? What are the trends to expect, the demands on us marketers and the innovations to embrace or ignore? I?m no fortune teller, but from experiences in previous years, a few things come to mind.
Companies as publishers
This year we will see more companies take content more seriously. Now the power of good content has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, we will see the trickle-down effect as it scoops up more and smaller companies.
Content will become more of a marketing priority as businesses realise that a single piece of quality content can improve SEO, engage customers, attract new audiences, market the brand, the product and the service and provide after-sales service.
From more to right
I also think more businesses will get to grips with content creation and shift from producing mediocre content to more focused, quality content. A mix of overview and in-depth content can help engage a huge audience and offer everything the visitor needs to make a buying decision. All without doing anything aside from publishing the content.
From journey to experience
Good content marketing helps the reader complete the buying journey as quickly and as painlessly as possible. While this will likely remain a priority, content will shift from being a sales funnel into a more holistic experience. So less of the hard sell and more of the customer experience that culminates in a sale.
I also think the ?spray and pray? version of content marketing will reduce. A lot of companies in the UK and U.S. buy a collection of blog posts and articles with no demographic or readership in mind, post them and then wonder why nothing happens. Content marketing is about so much more than that and this year I think the message will finally get across!
It is also time that marketers spread their wings and began using social media more imaginatively. Snapchat stories, video, Instagram and other channels will increase their appeal with younger audiences. The ability to combine them within a single content marketing strategy will make a real difference to the results.
Sponsored content will soar
Will fears over ad blockers increasing, sponsored content is going to increase in popularity. When implemented correctly, it can offer value to reader, host website and the sponsor all at once. It?s an excellent way to pull readers into the fold and engage in first contact.